Morenci year-end police report 01.13.10

Written by David Green.

Crime statistics go up and down from year to year in Morenci, but overall the various incidents remain consistent, said police chief Larry Weeks in his annual year-end report to city council Monday night.

“It remains fairly consistent,” Weeks said. “We live in a safe community. It’s a good place to live. We do have some crime, as every community does, but it’s not dramatic and it’s not out of control so I feel comfortable about where we’re at.”

Chief Weeks said the past year was the first in a while for consistent staffing. He’s faced layoffs and short-term employment by officers moving on to larger departments, but recent months have brought stability.

“I’ve had my most consistent crew that I’ve had in the seven years that I’ve been here,” he said.

Weeks noted an overall increase of 80 calls over the previous year, but a few fewer calls than 2007.

The incidence of larcenies and bad checks were both down despite the weak economy, he said, along with damaged property.

Healthy and safety complaints—dog problems, tall grass, etc., declined but, but that was partially due to a change in procedure.

Weeks noted an increase in suspicious situations and general disputes about property, along with an increase in calls to serve outside the city.

The state police and county sheriff’s department have been cut back in staff and local departments are sometimes called to help fill the void.

“That’s something we’re going to have to seriously continue to monitor,” Weeks said.

Community outreach efforts continue to remain high. Weeks said he’s spent a lot of time in the school buildings—something he considers important.

A special effort in 2009 was a collaboration with the fire department to talk with high school seniors about smoke detectors in relation to fire safety in dormitories and off-campus living.

  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.grieders
    ONE-TWO PUNCH—Morenci’s Griffin Grieder saved his best for last, running his fastest time ever in the 110-meter high hurdles at the state finals Saturday in Grand Rapids to finish first in the state in Div. IV. His brother Luke, a junior (right), claimed the state runner-up spot. Bulldog junior Bailee Dominique placed seventh in the 100-meter dash.
  • Front.sidewalk
    MORENCI senior class president Mikayla Price leads the way Sunday afternoon from the Church of the Nazarene to the United Methodist Church for the baccalaureate ceremony. Later in the day, 39 members of the senior class received diplomas in the high school gymnasium.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

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